Sheldon Brown agrees with you Mike. From his glossary, "The old-fashioned rear-opening style fork ends are still seen on some single-speed bikes, mainly as a retro fashion statement. The revival of rear opening fork ends is an unfortunate fad, making the bikes that feature this design less versatile and less convenient than they would be if they used drop outs.
There is an argument for better stiffness and structure with a rear facing fork end but it is silly since there is no evidence of any actual problem with dropouts.
A rear facing fork end with fenders is a nightmare. Any mechanic who has had the pleasure of fixing a flat on British Roadster with rear facing ends will attest to that. Throw a set of American type wire basket stays on the axle for even further enjoyment. Something like that would clog up a workstand for half an hour instead of 5 minutes.
Great Notch, NJ
Great Notch, NJ
> Can anyone suggest a good reason why rearward opening rear "drop-
\r?\n> are still being used on single gear bikes?. I cannot see one
\r?\n> good reason
\r?\n> for them. Why aren't forward opening horizontal drop-outs being
\r?\n> "Track ends" make no sense even on track bikes. It makes it more
\r?\n> difficult to remove the rear wheel and when fenders are fitted
\r?\n> removal is a major operation. I've noticed that some makers have
\r?\n> recently had rearward opening drop-outs made with fender eyelets
\r?\n> incorporated, why? We have recently had customers come in with
\r?\n> that they intend putting a fixed wheel on. Their frames have
\r?\n> good long horizontal drop-outs but they ask for them to be
\r?\n> removed and
\r?\n> "track ends" fitted. What earthly improvement do they think it
\r?\n> is going
\r?\n> to make? All for style I suppose.
\r?\n> Mike Barry.
\r?\n> Mariposa Bicycles. Toronto.